March 22, 2013
LOS ANGELES - Senior B.B. Bates had two hits, including the go-ahead home run in the sixth, while sophomore Ally Carda belted a two-run shot and earned the win in the circle, as the 12th-ranked Bruins defeated #2 Arizona State 3-2 in the Pac-12 opener on Friday at Easton Stadium.
Carda improved to 15-2 in the circle, tossing 1 2/3 innings of shutout relief. She struck out one and gave up one hit. Junior Jessica Hall started the contest and fanned one in 5 1/3, allowing two runs (one earned), five hits and three walks. All told, UCLA pitchers stranded eight Arizona State runners.
In the bottom of the first, the Bruins rallied with two outs. Sophomore Stephany LaRosa drew a walk and Carda crushed her 11th homer of the season over the pollen-laden trees in left to put the home squad up 2-0.
After leaving a runner on in both the first and fourth innings, and two more in the third, the Sun Devils (29-3, 0-1 Pac-12) finally broke through with two runs in the fifth. Nikki Girard led off the frame with a homer to left to cut the deficit in half. The Sun Devils then loaded the bases with one out and a sacrifice fly to center for Haley Steele plated Alix Johnson to tie the score at two. However, Arizona State would strand the remaining two runners.
The Bruins re-took the lead one inning later. On a 3-2 count, Bates tattooed a pitch over the trees in right field, her 14th homer of the season, to put UCLA up 3-2.
In the seventh, the Sun Devils, who left another on in the sixth, had the tying run in scoring position following a leadoff double by Johnson. But Carda retired the next three to seal the UCLA win.
The Bruins and the Sun Devils are back at it on Saturday at 6 p.m. Gametracker and free live audio will be available at UCLABruins.com, as well as live updates at twitter.com/uclasoftball.